Biotech Updates

Scab Resistance in Durum Wheat

September 23, 2011

Fusarium head blight is considered as one of the most serious diseases of Durum wheat, a cereal crop widely used for human consumption in the United States, Canada and several European countries. Unfortunately, the durum wheat cultivars do not have resistance to this disease. At the USDA-ARS Northern Crop Research Laboratory at Fargo, North Dakota, scientists Dr. Prem Jauhar and his staff discovered an FHB resistance gene from wheat grass.

Under the Durum Germplasm Enhancement Project (DGE), the scientists were able to produce a new wheat line called DGE-1 that posses the 1E gene from the wheat grass, making it FHB resistant. Subsequent crossing of DGE-1 line with durum wheat cultivars and the use of molecular marker technique, hybrid strains of durum wheat with 1E grass chromosome were developed.

"These studies on chromosome engineering will help bring about genomic reconstruction that will have far-reaching implications in both basic and applied research on wheat, and new genomic resources could result," said Jauhar.

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